Clinical Studies:

DRVS Report 3

Early Vitrectomy for Severe Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy in Eyes with Useful Vision

Summarized by Kyle Kovacs, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Ophthalmology)

Citation: Early vitrectomy for severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy in eyes with useful vision. Results of a randomized trial--Diabetic Retinopathy Vitrectomy Study Report 3. The Diabetic Retinopathy Vitrectomy Study Research Group. Ophthalmology. 1988 Oct;95(10):1307-20.

Key Points

  • Compared early vitrectomy with conventional management (observation with later vitrectomy as indicated with disease progression) in proliferative diabetic retinopathy in eyes with useful vision (visual acuity 10/200 or better)
  • This was most apparent in eyes with higher degrees of new vessel proliferation
  • At 4 years of follow-up the percentage of eyes with visual acuity of 10/20 or better was 44% in the early vitrectomy group compared with 28% in the conventional management group. This difference was more apparent in eyes with increasing severity of new vessels
  • Objective

    To compare outcomes of early vitrectomy compared with observation/delayed vitrectomy in patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy (proliferative disease) but still with useful vision (10/200 or better). Partner study to the DRVS reports 2 and 5 which looked at role of early vitrectomy is severe vitreous hemorrhage due to PDR (2 and 4 year outcomes, respectively).


    Randomized, multicenter, interventional clinical trial DRVS sites

  • Duration

    48 months



Baseline visit, then subsequent randomization visit 2 weeks to 3 months later

Randomized 1:1

(a) Early vitrectomy

(b) Conventional therapy (observation with vitrectomy at specific indications during the follow-up)


Study population

Visual acuity end-points

Poor Outcomes

Retinal Detachment

Of Note